Welcome to your weekly Outkick the Coverage DraftKings college football preview, easily the best college football daily fantasy preview on the ‘net… except in New York, where not only are you not allowed to enjoy this, but you could get us all in trouble simply for reading it.
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Ok, good. Now that that awkwardness is out of the way, let’s get to this week’s picks.
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But right now, it’s time to make some picks. And time to get to this week’s selections.
Trevone Boykin, TCU ($10,100)
Sometimes in life, we all make decisions we ultimately regret. If Gene Chizik had to do it over, I’m sure he wouldn’t have worn that hideous leather jacket back in 2010 on the National Championship trophy stand. I bet Brian Kelly wishes he hadn’t violently attacked one of his own assistant coaches on the sidelines a few weeks back (although let’s be honest, haven’t we all wanted to attack a co-worker every now and again?). Crap, I bet Michigan would like a do-over for the entire last decade prior to this season.
As for me? Well, I’ve got to admit something: I have spent the last seven days wondering how different my life might have turned out if I didn’t start Trevone Boykin in DraftKings last week. I just feel like things could have changed, so much. Maybe I could have gotten into that college I always wanted to go to. Maybe I would have the woman in my dreams by now. Or taken that semester off to backpack across Central America.
Or more likely, none of that stuff would have happened.
Either way, I’m ready to move past the decision to start Boykin last week, and double down by doing it against Saturday.
The simple truth is that Boykin is too good not to have a bounce back game, at home (Boykin has an 18/2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in Ft. Worth, compared with 12/7 on the road) and against one of the worst pass defenses in the country in Kansas.
Add in a whole bunch of “man, we got blown out last week and need to start winning big to impress the committee” urgency, and it seems to me like Boykin is due for a huge day Saturday.
Connor Cook, Michigan State ($7,400)
Before I explain why I’m selecting Cook here (besides the fact that he’s really good, and the price of $7,400 seems really low), allow me to go on a quick rant.
So I do a bunch of various radio interviews throughout the week, and one of the biggest questions I got these last few days was this: How badly did Michigan State get screwed last week?
Well, for starters, the answer was “a lot” but at the same time, I didn’t feel bad for them one bit. The simple truth is that Sparty has been playing with fire all year; yes, entering the Nebraska game they were 8-0, but they also had four wins by a touchdown or less, including narrow victories over an awful Purdue team by three, and an even more awful Rutgers team by seven. Simply put, if you’re a really good team, if you’re a truly elite playoff contender, those are teams you should be blowing out, yet Michigan State was barely getting by them. Meaning that ultimately, the Spartans were due to lose a game. It just so happened to come in the one game that they probably didn’t deserve to lose.
Ok, now with the rant over, that should also help explain why I’m drafting Cook: His team finally got that loss out of the way. The pressure of “we can’t lose” is off, and it’s now onto “the only way we can even be considered for the playoff is if we play our best going forward”… which is exactly what I expect from the Spartans this week… their best game of the season.
Facing a lousy Maryland team prior to next week’s showdown with Ohio State, I expect the Spartans to put their best foot forward, and for Cook to have his best game of the season.
At the price you’re getting him, and with the opponent he’s facing, Cook is a straight steal this week.
Josh Adams, Notre Dame ($5,900)
So look, I know that one of the core tenants that this website — and the entire Outkick the Coverage empire — has been built on, is to always make fun of Notre Dame at just about any cost. It’s a tenant I take very seriously, and am usually quick to act upon.
However this year, I just can’t do it. The truth is, I actually respect the hell out of what Brian Kelly is doing. At this point, Notre Dame is down to what amounts to their third string quarterback (with Everett Golson gone and Malik Zaire injured), and is now down to their fourth-string running back with C.J. Prosise injured last week. Yet the Irish just keep beating people up.
More importantly, they have real players on this team. Notre Dame is no longer a bunch of overhyped, underperforming posers, but instead a real football team. If you watched them last week, you saw that Adams — again, their fourth string running back — looked like he could start at just about any school in the country not named “LSU” or “Alabama” as he tallied 147 yards on 20 carries, against a good Pitt team.
Going up against a lousy Wake Forest team Saturday, Adams is a straight steal, assuming Prosise sits out.
At the price you’re getting him at, he’s a straight steal.
Russel Shell, West Virginia ($4,700)
There are some things in life that are unexplainable. Like that mystery light that lingered over Southern California last weekend. How Jimbo Fisher magically grew a new head of hair this off-season. Or why the hell I’ve been watching so much West Virginia football the last few weeks.
Honestly, I don’t have an answer on any of them.
As it pertains to West Virginia specifically, I’ve noticed that Shell’s workload continues to get larger as the weeks go on. Last week he had a breakout game with 111 yards on 14 carries. Sure it was against Texas Tech, but a 111 yard performance, is a 111 yard performance.
And while I’m not saying he’ll put up numbers quite that good this week, he will be good. For West Virginia, quarterback Skyler Howard is struggling, and Texas’ run defense will be bad.
It should be a big day for Shell.
Amara Darboh, Michigan ($4,800)
As a general rule, I like to stay away from all Michigan wide receivers in DraftKings, in the same way that every AD across America stays away from Houston Nutt whenever their school’s head coaching job opens up. There’s simply nothing to gain in either case, and merely entertaining the thought of both could lead to years of regret.
So with that said, why am I going with Darboh?
Well, for starters, Michigan isn’t afraid to put up points; Jim Harbaugh has shown throughout this year that if can’t stop him, he’s going to continue to try and score on you. So that’s a factor, and so is the fact that the Wolverines are playing the worst pass defense in the Big Ten this week in Indiana.
Michigan will score points and will move the ball through the air, and Darboh seems like the guy most likely to put up big numbers.
He leads the team in catches, yards and receiving TD’s, and should put up his best numbers of the year on Saturday.
Kavonte Turpin, TCU ($5,000)
To steal a line from my Week 1 preview, I honestly feel like I should be arrested for getting Turpin at this price. I really do. I may even turn myself into the police I feel so damn guilty.
Why is he such a steal?
Well here’s what you’re getting in Turpin on Saturday: TCU’s second best receiver, in a pass-happy offense, going against one of the worst defenses in college football… who is also coming off the two best games of his college career, while his team’s No. 1 receiver (Josh Doctson) is nursing an injury.
Again, I honestly feel like I’m stealing… and feel like the cops will show up at any minute.
Whether they do or not, grab Turpin while you can. There’s a zero percent chance he’s this cheap next week.
Jordan Leggett, Clemson ($3,700)
Admittedly, Leggett has huge boom or bust potential.
At the same time, I’m willing to take a shot on a guy who is coming off a 100+ yard receiving game against the best defense Clemson will face all year, already has six touchdown catches this season, and is described in the DraftKings preview as a “downfield threat amongst (a) host of possession receivers.”
Again, it’s high risk taking Leggett… but it’s a risk worth taking.
If you need to fill out the end of your bench, he could pay off big time.
Antonio Callaway, Florida ($3,600)
Speaking of high risk, how about Callaway, who entered last week with back-to-back 100 yard receiving games … before making just one catch for 11 yards.
I’m going to take a chance on Callaway, given the cheap price, and the lousy South Carolina defense he’ll be facing.
But I would also monitor the injury information Florida hands out. He has an injured foot, and if he seems limited or unable to go (reports indicate that he’s pretty healthy at this point) than be ready to move off of him.
Mack Hollins, North Carolina ($4,600)
Quick pop quiz:
Is Mack Hollins…
A. 1920’s jazz trombonist?
B. The opening act on Amy Schumer’s standup tour right now?
C. A wide receiver from North Carolina who has hauled in five touchdowns the last four games?
If you guessed “C” well… congratulations! You’re not a total idiot.
Look, I’d be lying if I said I knew all that much about Hollins, but he’s putting up big numbers, in an explosive offense, which is back at home and going against a questionable Miami secondary.
And for a second FLEX position, seems like a solid bet at the price you’re getting him.